Today’s Highlight in History:
On May 28, 1912, the Senate Commerce Committee issued its report on the Titanic disaster that cited a “state of absolute unpreparedness,” improperly tested safety equipment and an “indifference to danger” as some of the causes of an “unnecessary tragedy.”
On this date:
In 1533, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Thomas Cranmer, declared the marriage of England’s King Henry VIII to Anne Boleyn valid.
In 1863, the 54th Massachusetts Volunteer Infantry Regiment, made up of freed blacks, left Boston to fight for the Union in the Civil War.
In 1908, British author Ian Fleming, the creator of James Bond as well as “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,” was born in London.
In 1918, American troops fought their first major battle during World War I as they launched an offensive against the German-held French village of Cantigny (kahn-tee-NYEE’); the Americans succeeded in capturing the village.
In 1937, President Franklin D. Roosevelt pushed a button in Washington signaling that vehicular traffic could begin crossing the just-opened Golden Gate Bridge in California. Neville Chamberlain became prime minister of Britain. In Nazi Germany, Volkswagen was founded by the German Labour Front.
In 1940, during World War II, the Belgian army surrendered to invading German forces.
In 1957, National League owners gave permission for the Brooklyn Dodgers and New York Giants to move to Los Angeles and San Francisco.
In 1959, the U.S. Army launched Able, a rhesus monkey, and Baker, a squirrel monkey, aboard a Jupiter missile for a suborbital flight which both primates survived.
In 1964, the charter of the Palestine Liberation Organization was issued at the start of a meeting of the Palestine National Congress in Jerusalem.
In 1977, 165 people were killed when fire raced through the Beverly Hills Supper Club in Southgate, Kentucky.
In 1987, to the embarrassment of Soviet officials, Mathias Rust (mah-TEE’-uhs rust), a young West German pilot, landed a private plane in Moscow’s Red Square without authorization. (Rust was freed by the Soviets the following year.)
In 2003, President George W. Bush signed a 10-year, $350 billion package of tax cuts, saying they already were “adding fuel to an economic recovery.”
Ten years ago: President Barack Obama visited Grand Isle, Louisiana, where he personally confronted the spreading damage wrought by the crude gushing into the Gulf of Mexico from the BP blowout — and the bitter anger rising onshore. Suspected Islamist militants attacked two mosques packed with hundreds of worshippers from a minority sect in eastern Pakistan; at least 93 people were killed and dozens wounded. Gary Coleman, the former child star of the 1970s TV sitcom “Diff’rent Strokes,” died at Utah Valley Regional Medical Center in Provo two days after suffering a brain hemorrhage; he was 42.
Five years ago: A federal grand jury indictment handed up in Chicago revealed that former U.S. House Speaker Dennis Hastert had agreed to pay $3.5 million in hush money to keep an unidentified person silent about “prior misconduct” by the Illinois Republican. (Hastert later pleaded guilty to breaking banking law and was sentenced to 15 months in prison; prosecutors said the money was intended to conceal past sexual abuse against a student wrestler while Hastert was a high school teacher and coach.) For the second straight year, the Scripps National Spelling Bee ended with co-champions as Vanya Shivashankar and Gokul Venkatachalam (GO’-kul VEHN’-kuh-TAHTCH’-uh-lum) were the last two standing.
One year ago: Sports Illustrated magazine was sold for $110 million to Authentic Brands Group, a company that specializes in managing fashion, entertainment and sports brands. A vicious storm tore through the western outskirts of Kansas City, spawning one or more tornadoes that injured at least 12 people. Novelist MacKenzie Bezos, who had finalized her divorce from Amazon founder Jeff Bezos earlier in the year, pledged to give away half her fortune to charity.
Today’s Birthdays: Actress Carroll Baker is 89. Producer-director Irwin Winkler is 89. Basketball Hall of Famer Jerry West is 82. Former New York City Mayor Rudolph Giuliani is 76. Singer Gladys Knight is 76. Singer Billy Vera is 76. Singer John Fogerty (Creedance Clearwater Revival) is 75. Country musician Jerry Douglas is 64. Actor Louis Mustillo is 62. Former governor and U.S. Rep. Mark Sanford, R-S.C., is 60. Actor Brandon Cruz (TV: “The Courtship of Eddie’s Father”) is 58. Country singer Phil Vassar is 56. Actress Christa Miller is 56. Singer-musician Chris Ballew (Presidents of the USA) is 55. Rapper Chubb Rock is 52. Singer Kylie Minogue (KY’-lee mihn-OHG’) is 52. Actor Justin Kirk is 51. Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is 49. Olympic gold medal figure skater Ekaterina Gordeeva is 49. Television personality Elisabeth Hasselbeck is 43. R&B singer Jaheim is 43. Actor Jake Johnson is 42. Actor Jesse Bradford is 41. Actress Monica Keena is 41. Actress Alexa Davalos is 38. Actress Megalyn Echikunwoke (eh-cheek-uh-WALK’-ay) is 38. Pop singer Colbie Caillat (kal-LAY’) is 35. Actress Carey Mulligan is 35. Actor Joseph Cross is 34. Chicago Cubs pitcher Craig Kimbrel is 32.
Thought for Today: “The bravest thing you can do when you are not brave is to profess courage and act accordingly.” — Corra May Harris, American writer (1869-1935).